Hitting a brick wall is something that analysts run into simply because they are change agents.
Rather than hurt yourself — mainly your confidence — you need to change direction and tactics if you hope to gain eager supporters and reduce resistance to your optimization efforts.
By definition, since your role is all about optimizing, causing change is unavoidable. Therefore, accept it and build your own toolkit to manage resistance.
- Change management is core to your work. It’s something you have to deal with to climb the Analytics Value Pyramid and deliver real measurable value.
- Realize that because what you do is new and magical to others, you might be feared and viewed as a threat, an evil disruptor.
- Learn not to take it personally
- Realize that the brick wall is typically present not just due to a fear of the unknown, but also the comfort of the status quo, conflicting priorities and lack of an incentive from above (or self-interest) to buy into your work.
- Accept that it’s not going to be easy, it is a big job and you have a selling job to do.
- Take initiative to bridge the gap and be ready at any time to tell a story to show the value of what you are doing.
To make this advice come to life, here are 5 quick win tactics to break down the brick wall of resistance, one brick at a time. Build on these suggestions. Why not make this an optimization project of your own?
- Use data to strengthen the person resisting you.
- Show that data doesn’t just identify gaps and opportunities for improvement.
- For example, your combative resistor may have been vocally defending a display ad or email campaign even though conversion reports don’t show this is the case. Most likely this is because last click attribution has been used. If you’re using Google Analytics, take a look at your Multi-Channel funnel reports to see if email and display campaigns are assisting conversions.
- Tune into WII-FM (What’s In It For Me).
- Meet with your resistor, formally or informally, and uncover the most important work objectives, both departmentally and personally. How do online visitors factor into these objectives? What online visitor behaviours are of interest? What supporting information would help?
- Celebrate wins.
- If you already have some successes, broadcast loudly.
- Write an internal news article or blog post. If you’re the analyst helping out an internal client, make the internal client the hero, not you. Tell the story by setting the stage and identifying the challenge, then building up to the solution.
- The conversion goal of this effort is to have other internal clients say “I want some of that success”.
- Organize Lunch & Learns.
- Have everyone bring their lunch and you bring cookies (the chocolate kind of course, not the sessionization kind).
- If you have success stories, make them the focal point. Once again, someone else should be the hero.
- Seek out Furrowed Brows.
- Watch for confusing furrowed brows when analytics is discussed. Ask a question on the spot, positioning it so that it is not that they didn’t understand but you weren’t clear enough. “Is there something that I passed over too quickly?” Be humble. There’ll be more hands raised and questions asked than furrowed brows.
You may be thinking “when do I get to be the hero”?
- Help others and you will naturally become the hero.
- If you’re more approachable (less scary), your analytics expertise will be eventually be sought and you’ll be getting projects by referral instead of cold calls… then it’ll be time to expand the analytics department!
Do let us know if this works and we’d love to hear other tactics that work for you.